Stop in for bratwurst and a beer, and you'll be instantly transported to a castle in Bavaria, complete with servers costumed in leather lederhosen and colorful dirndls. “We like to think it’s Oktoberfest all year long,” says co-owner Philipp Sitter. In-house-smoked sausages come in unusual varieties such as rabbit and rattlesnake, along with more traditional offerings such as pork or chicken schnitzel and 19 beers on tap. Weekends bring live music, and the biergarten hosts festivals throughout the year. Oans, zwoa, drei, g'suffa!
1329 E. Broadway St., 832-569-4141, kingsbiergarten.com
Once considered a sport for daredevils, BMX racing debuted as a medal sport in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Two years later, this uncovered dirt track opened in Pearland. The course, open to USA BMX members of all skill levels and ages, feels like being in your own souped-up backyard. One of only a few such tracks in Texas, the place attracts bikers from across the region. Bring a lawn chair and snacks, and enjoy a free show: Practices are held on Tuesday evenings, with races on Fridays and Saturdays.
4949 Morning Dove Ln., 281-485-0337, pearlandbmx.com
Pearwood Skate Center
This retro roller rink is evocative of the ’80s, yet still of the moment, thanks to the juxtaposition of neon-accented walls and carpet and modern pop music, which sets the tone for skaters young and old. The place offers a concession stand, arcade and, in a nod to modernity, wifi. Though open to the public only three days a week, Pearwood’s a year-round haven for children’s birthday parties. On Fridays, the strobe lights start spinning for Teen Night (sorry, parents, you might want to wait in the car).
1230 E. Broadway St., 281-482-4060, pearwoodskate.com
Sri Meenakshi Devasthanam Temple
Curious passersby are welcome to stop and explore this Hindu temple full of white-marble edifices and intricate carvings—but shoes off, please. Construction and renovation projects are ongoing, with five sanctuaries complete, each honoring a different Hindu deity. The temple hosts special festivals and pooja ceremonies throughout the year. Don’t leave without visiting the temple library or the kitchen, which serves up vegetarian Indian treats to all comers.
17130 McLean Rd., 218-489-0358, houstonmeenakshi.org